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Are you "into" trains and understand the value (or not) of your Father-in-law' s collection? The reason I am asking, if you do not have an interest or do not know any perceived value, you are going to be heading down a dark path for sure to try to liquidate on your own.

My opinion...if you have no interest yourself, contact one of the auction houses and let them sell everything for you. Some will even just give you a check and take everything. Be prepared for "reverse sticker shock" when you see just how little the older trains are worth unless they are rare, mint and in pristine shape.

As soon as you publish a list, any of the "good stuff" will be gone, cherry picked over,  and you will be left with a lot of boat anchors. However, a list is a good thing if selling everything at once.

Donald

You're going to get a lot of different advice/opinions on this so I'd review all of the replies before making a decision.

For a large collection, you might want to consider an auction house, especially the ones that handle trains. There are several that are forum sponsors (see above at top of page) who are familiar to many members. One advantage with an auction house is they will do a lot of the heavy lifting and logistics for you (yes, at a cost), but might be easier than the eBay route.

Good luck!

Edit: And I see 3rail & Kooljock posted just before me with about the same advice.

Last edited by johnstrains

3rail's post above is an excellent summary. 

Here's a thread that covered the topic awhile back - https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...1#149239177148621341

A lot depends on how big the collection is, condition of the items, and where you are located.  I recently wanted to get rid of a modest amount of LGB.  Did my research based on SOLD prices on eBay and decided to send my stuff to Stout's.  (The number of items was not sufficient for them to come and pick them up, but fortunately I live close enough that I was able to deliver them to Stout's.)  The amount that I received was close to what I would have netted after selling on eBay, but without the hassle of posting, shipping, dealing with returns, etc.  Going the auction route was well worth it in my opinion.

Wishing you the best of luck.

Welcome to the forum and we're sorry that we had to meet under these circumstances.

There are many wonderful people on this forum that will help you in any way that they can.  Also, check with any local clubs, as I know that our Central NY has helped out with such things, as well.  Especially if you late father-in-law was a member of one.

Good luck.

- Mario

@3rail posted:

Are you "into" trains and understand the value (or not) of your Father-in-law' s collection? The reason I am asking, if you do not have an interest or do not know any perceived value, you are going to be heading down a dark path for sure to try to liquidate on your own.

My opinion...if you have no interest yourself, contact one of the auction houses and let them sell everything for you. Some will even just give you a check and take everything. Be prepared for "reverse sticker shock" when you see just how little the older trains are worth unless they are rare, mint and in pristine shape.

As soon as you publish a list, any of the "good stuff" will be gone, cherry picked over,  and you will be left with a lot of boat anchors. However, a list is a good thing if selling everything at once.

Donald

This exactly.  You can go the eBay route, it would likely net you a higher return.  However it will take the longest and be the most work.

Also understand a lot of these items aren't worth what they went for in the 90's when the boomer generation was purchasing in full force.

Depending upon how many items, I'd probably suggest the auction route (Stout's or Cabin Fever).  Ebay is a pita and could actually end up being a second job for you.  Between ebay and paypal they take like 15% or something similar anyway.  I've sold a lot of stuff there, but I would not do it again if I had to dispose of a sizable collection.  The auction houses seem to get decent prices for things.

Keep us informed, best of luck, and very sorry for your loss.

@KPTolbert posted:

Am selling entire collection including stuff amassed over his 80+ years.  Also, am new to this forum.  Q: Is it recommended to sell in one bulk purchase or individually via this or other means like eBay?

will be glad to provide Excel file of inventory upon request.

Hi KP,

I've been known to purchase large collections - going through boxes is great fun for me.  I would be interested in your EXCEL file. Please email it to me at the address shown in my profile.

Approximately where are you located?

Thanks and Good Luck

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